Afghanistan — Forces Capture Taliban Kidnapping Suspect

WASHINGTON, Oct. 5, 2010 — Coali­tion and Afghan forces appre­hend­ed sev­er­al insur­gent lead­ers in Afghanistan overnight, includ­ing a Tal­iban dis­trict leader sus­pect­ed in the kid­nap­ping of a British news reporter last year, mil­i­tary offi­cials said.

Afghan and Inter­na­tion­al Assis­tance Secu­ri­ty Force mem­bers cap­tured the Tal­iban leader for the Cha­har Darah dis­trict of Kun­duz province dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion in neigh­bor­ing Takhar province.

The dis­trict leader is sus­pect­ed of being direct­ly involved in the kid­nap­ping of New York Times reporter Stephen Far­rell in Sep­tem­ber 2009. He also is believed to have main­tained close ties with senior Tal­iban and Islam­ic Move­ment of Uzbek­istan lead­er­ship in north­ern Afghanistan and Pak­istan, and ter­ror­ized the local pop­u­lace by forcibly col­lect­ing tax­es, intim­i­dat­ing rel­a­tives of police and attack­ing gov­ern­ment build­ings. He was detained along with two asso­ciates.

In oth­er com­bined oper­a­tions in Afghanistan:

– Forces detained sev­er­al sus­pect­ed Tal­iban insur­gents in Hel­mand province yes­ter­day while in pur­suit of a Tal­iban leader who com­mands up to 20 fight­ers in the Mar­ja dis­trict. Using intel­li­gence tips, the force searched a remote com­pound and found a man shack­led and locked in one of the rooms. The man claimed to be a nation­al police mem­ber and said the Tal­iban had kid­napped him. The secu­ri­ty force is still gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion to con­firm his iden­ti­ty. The force detained the sus­pects and seized mul­ti­ple grenades, assault-rifle mag­a­zines and ammu­ni­tion and 20 pounds of wet opi­um.

– Forces tar­get­ed a Haqqani ter­ror­ist net­work leader who sup­plies weapons used for attacks through­out Khost province’s Musa Khel dis­trict dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion there. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a remote com­pound in the Sabari dis­trict. As they approached, sev­er­al armed insur­gents threat­ened them. The force engaged the insur­gents, killing two. After ques­tion­ing res­i­dents, the force detained a sus­pect and recov­ered a machine gun.

– Forces cap­tured a Tal­iban leader overnight who oper­at­ed in Kan­da­har province’s Dand dis­trict, coor­di­nat­ing attacks and arm­ing Tal­iban fight­ers. Intel­li­gence tips led the force to a com­pound in the Arghandab dis­trict where they peace­ful­ly iden­ti­fied and detained the tar­get­ed man and two of his asso­ciates.

– Forces cap­tured a Tal­iban senior leader overnight who oper­at­ed in War­dak province’s Sayed Abad dis­trict and is believed to have been active in coor­di­nat­ing attacks direct­ly with Tal­iban lead­ers in Pak­istan. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the force tar­get­ed a com­pound in the Sayed Abad dis­trict and peace­ful­ly iden­ti­fied and detained the man, along with one of his asso­ciates.

– In Pak­ti­ka province’s Yosuf Khel dis­trict, a com­bined force cap­tured a Tal­iban leader who led bomb­ing attacks. Intel­li­gence reports led the force to a com­pound in Yosuf Khel where they peace­ful­ly iden­ti­fied and detained the tar­get­ed man, along with sev­er­al of his asso­ciates.

– Forces tar­get­ed a Tal­iban senior leader in Zab­ul province overnight who com­mands a cell that con­ducts reg­u­lar road­side-bomb attacks along High­way 1. The sus­pect main­tains ties with sev­er­al for­eign fight­ers and Tal­iban lead­er­ship oper­at­ing in the region. The force peace­ful­ly detained the man and sev­er­al oth­ers at a remote com­pound in the Tarnek wa Jal­dak dis­trict.

– Forces cap­tured a Tal­iban leader of a bomb­ing net­work oper­at­ing in Qalat dis­trict dur­ing an overnight oper­a­tion yes­ter­day in Zab­ul province. Based on intel­li­gence tips, the secu­ri­ty force tar­get­ed a com­pound south­east of Tana Chah, and peace­ful­ly detained the sus­pect and sev­er­al of his asso­ciates.

– A com­bined patrol found and destroyed two sep­a­rate nar­cotics sup­plies yes­ter­day. First, a joint strike force raid­ed a drug lab in Nan­garhar province’s Achin dis­trict, where they found and destroyed 44 pounds of pack­aged hero­in, 66 pounds of hashish and 47 gal­lons of a chem­i­cal used to process hero­in and asso­ci­at­ed equip­ment. In a sep­a­rate oper­a­tion, a patrol used intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion and res­i­dents’ tips to secure 3,300 pounds of processed opi­um, more than a ton of raw opi­um and about 60 pieces of drug-pro­cess­ing equip­ment. One sus­pect­ed insur­gent was detained.

In all the oper­a­tions, com­bined forces pro­tect­ed women and chil­dren through­out their search­es, offi­cials said.

Com­piled from Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Releas­es

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